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Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography (digital X-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental X-rays.  This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of X-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer.  This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged, helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems more easily.  Digital X-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.

Dental X-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without X-rays, problem areas can go undetected.

Dental X-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are dental X-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment.  Digital X-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays.  Not only are digital X-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office.  Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the X-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation.  These precautions include only taking those X-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body, when necessary.

How often should dental X-rays be taken?

The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs.  Dr. Dahm and the hygienist will recommend necessary X-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

  • A full mouth series X-rays are recommended for all new patients.  A full series is usually good for three to five years. 
  • Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at your dental health visits and are recommended every 12 - 24 months to detect new dental problems.
  • Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound photographs of the face and teeth. They are extraoral and simple to perform. Unlike bitewing X-rays that need to be taken every year, panoramic X-rays are generally only taken on an as-needed basis.  A panoramic X-ray is not conducted to give a detailed view of each tooth, but rather to provide a better view of the sinus areas, nasal areas and mandibular nerve.  Panoramic X-rays are preferable to bitewing X-rays when a patient is in extreme pain, and when a sinus problem is suspected to have caused dental problems.  
  • TMJ X-rays are used to view the jaw joints.
  • Cephalometric Film is an X-ray used for measuring the head for treatment planning and orthodontic evaluation.  
  • Sinus View X-rays are used for orthodontics and show a better view of the nasal cavity and sinuses.


Read what people are saying about us.

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After many years of being self-conscious about my smile due to an overbite and overlapping teeth, I decided to have a consult about having braces (preferably Invisalign). Due to all the correction needed, wire braces were my only option. After 5 years of various correction procedures I am now proud of my smile. Dr. Jeff and the staff were always prompt and very encouraging during each visit.

~Sandy V.S.

I had an appointment this morning for a crown prep. I was seated a few minutes before my actual appointment time. I was seen immediately by the assistant who prepped me for my local anesthetic. The anesthetic was given gently and painlessly. When I was thoroughly numb the procedure was started and finished in a shorter time than I had thought it might be. I was happy with all the services I received. Everyone from office staff to those assisting and performing the services were courteous and efficient. Dr. Dahm was his usual friendly professional self. I would recommend this dental practice to anyone needing dental care.

~Sue S. (October 2016)

I know, through my own work experience, that working with the public can be trying at times, and sometimes it is difficult not to fall into a "negative" mode, which really does none of us any good. I am not sure whether a "negative" atmosphere shows its face when dealing with people, as much as a "positive" atmosphere does, or not. I am inclined to think not, but anyway, I would like to say that I am proud of everyone in your office, for creating and keeping that "positive" atmosphere, for all of us patients, because it truly does make a difference in the way we feel while we are there, and when we leave the office. I don't ever remember giggling several times during a dentist appointment, but couldn't help myself yesterday morning, as Dr. Dahm moved through the office, greeting, reassuring, and caring for people. The girls who helped me through the x-rays, molds, and other necessary procedures were awesome, as well! "Good Job", "You're doing great", etc., while in a place where most people are a little uncomfortable, at best, is so nice to hear. And, when I was confused about just where in my mouth my filling would go, the girls were so kind in explaining that they really were going to work on the correct tooth. LOL! I am running on here, but I think too often in business, the main feedback that people get, is the negative stuff. I have always tried to counter that, by letting people know when I really do appreciate what they have done "for" me, instead of "to" me, and I will be the first to admit that trust does not always come easy for me - just the way I am. And, I feel that an establishment's "true colors" show in instances like I had yesterday, when I needed some reassurance that everything was okay. I am so appreciative of the way everyone handled that (sorry that I took up precious time), but now I know, that if/when I truly do need help, it will be there, and given in a kind and understanding manner. That means a LOT to me! So, in closing, in the middle of the night, during my usual "awake" time, I just kept thinking WOW! I just don't know of a better way to express my feelings! And, of course, THANK YOU to everyone in that office, because it takes every person in an environment like that to maintain a caring and positive atmosphere! I notice and I appreciate all of it, and I would recommend anyone I know to become a patient there!

Pam B.

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